Ever wondered why some websites consistently rank high in search results while others struggle for visibility? The answer lies in the power of SEO content.
SEO content is the magic wand that attracts traffic, magnetizes search engines and propels your website to the top of search results.
But what types of content can wield this power?
Let’s delve into SEO content and go through the seven essential types that form the backbone of a successful content strategy.
- SEO content comes in many forms, including short and long-form blogs, visuals like infographics, guides and more each serving different roles in engaging your audience.
- An effective SEO content strategy incorporates various types of content such as long articles for depth and detail, short-form posts for concise information and s for visual learners, all optimized with relevant keywords and user engagement in mind.
- Interactive content, videos and how-to guides significantly contribute to SEO success by increasing user engagement, dwell time and providing valuable, comprehensive resources that address user queries and preferences.
SEO and content marketing
Everyone prefers to consume content differently, from long-form articles and short blogs to content you can interact with and how-to guides, there are plenty of types of SEO content that can be leveraged to delight and convert your audience. Before getting into each and the purpose they serve, it’s important to understand the relationship between SEO and content marketing.
- SEO is about improving website visibility in search results via keyword research and on-page/off-page SEO techniques
- Content marketing is the art of creating captivating and relevant content to engage a specific audience
SEO-friendly content is the combination of the two; valuable content that captivates your audience and potential customers while being optimized to draw traffic from search engines and generate leads.
The ultimate goal, whether it’s a blog post, a product page or an interactive infographic, is to create top-quality, valuable content that connects with your target audience and offers SEO benefits.
- TOFU: top of funnel > awareness
- MOFU: middle of funnel > consideration
- BOFU: bottom of funnel > decision
Let’s first focus on written SEO content formats.
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1. Long-form articles
Long-form content is generally considered content that’s more than 1,000 words and therefore able to get into the meat of a subject, offering your readers more thorough insights and improving your ranking in Google search results in the process.
Why does Google love long-form content so much though?
Because you’re providing a comprehensive answer to a user’s search and Google’s search crawlers prioritize in-depth and detailed discussion on subjects. If you provide a substantial reservoir of information pertaining to a particular keyword, without keyword stuffing, why wouldn’t they?
Long-form content, by the nature of being long, also keeps visitors on your site longer, consolidates all necessary information for potential readers in a single location and positions you as a reliable authority on a specific topic.
Spoiler: the article you’re reading now is long-form. Another good example is this guide from Curated on how to purchase the perfect beginner snowboard. Investigative news articles and how-to tutorials are also forms of long-form writing.
Creating valuable long-form content
The deep dive is loved by search engines and users alike and makes for a potent SEO content tool but creating high-quality long-form content involves more than just adding word soup to your article. It requires:
- Providing in-depth information
- Establishing authority
- Attracting more traffic
- Enhancing visitor engagement
- Acquiring backlinks and building authority
Question is, if you’re writing thousands of words, how can you weave keywords in without making it seem forced?
Long-tail keywords are more specific and less competitive than shorter, more generic keywords (and also make up 70% of search traffic). Incorporating them into your content enhances its relevance and improves its visibility in search results.
If you’re looking to create thought leadership in an area, long-form content gives you the runaway for that.
2. Short-form blog posts
Despite long-form content’s ability to provide comprehensive insights, short-form content has its own set of unique benefits.
Here are some advantages of shorter SEO content:
- Quick to consume
- Provides concise information
- Better engages readers with shorter attention spans
- Has the potential to rank for low-competition keywords
Short-form content can take the form of product pages, blogs and landing pages among others.
Crafting engaging short-form content
Creating short blog posts is an art form in itself, involving identifying key points, highlighting relevant info and keeping the content under 1,000 words.
A good short-form blog post creates an emotional narrative that resonates with your website visitors.
To make your shorter content more engaging, keep a conversational tone (if it aligns with your business) and consider leaning into popular trends such as dances, songs, challenges and memes.
Remember, the goal is to capture your audience’s attention and engage them in a way that is both enjoyable and informative. So, let your creativity flow and make your short-form content as unique and engaging as possible.
To boost your content’s SEO, no matter the length, optimize the following elements:
- Headings: Headings make your blog posts easier to scan, read and understand
- Metadata: Metadata helps search engines understand what your content is about
- Images: Optimized to prioritize load speed and with relevant alt text to improve user experience
Short content is another solid option for creating thought leadership and, by extension, articles that are more shareable.
3. Pillar pages and topic clusters
When it comes to SEO content, organization is paramount. That’s where pillar pages (sometimes called cornerstone content) and topic clusters that span multiple web pages come in.
A pillar page is a long-form content piece that serves as the cornerstone for a particular topic and important keyword. An authoritative long-form article that covers all angles, gets updated often and strives to rank at the top of the first page of search results for your most competitive keywords.
That’s then expanded upon through interconnected pieces and blog content to create topic clusters as part of a broader content strategy.
This article, for example, is inside a topic cluster optimized for the keyword "SEO content planning", which is a pillar page of ours. Another example would be Coinbase’s crypto basics page which links to a wealth of other posts on their website.
Pillar pages and topic clusters enhance SEO performance by:
- Elevating individual page rankings within the cluster when a page performs well
- Attracting high-quality backlinks from other websites
- Offering well-organized landing pages that introduce readers to the site’s topics and promote further exploration
- Providing a broad overview of a subject and internal linking to more specialized high-quality content
- Creating a rich content ecosystem that keeps readers engaged and search engines satisfied
Building an effective pillar page
A pillar page is more than just a lengthy article, a great one should be:
- Easy to understand
- Has a distinct core topic
- A user-friendly and well-organized resource
- A primary landing page on your website, emphasizing a key topic, resource, product or service area
When it comes to choosing topics for your pillar pages, focus on crafting deep resource pages that thoroughly cover a broad topic. The associated topic cluster allows you to take a multi-keyword approach where you interconnect articles that go into the specifics.
The aim is to provide a comprehensive resource that enhances search ranking and user experience, promotes user engagement through exploration of internal links and enhances your site’s credibility and expertise in the subject area.
4. How-to guides and tutorials
Showing your target audience how to do something, step-by-step provides them tremendous value. Instructions and guidance that take a user through a product or the execution of specific tasks also increase your authority.
Reduced frustration, boosted confidence and visitors to your site equipped users with the knowledge and skills to effectively utilize a product or accomplish a task. Sounds like a customer in the making, no?
Guides are a great form of content for SEO because:
- In-depth content tends to yield better results for SEO
- Longer content tends to attract more social shares and links compared to shorter posts
- Guides provide comprehensive coverage of a topic, offering in-depth information
So, how do you make sure that your guide is easily understood by users?
Crafting informative how-to content
Creating an effective how-to guide involves providing step-by-step instructions, best practices, examples and organizing the guide into sections. To do that you both need to know your target audience well and, of course, conduct thorough research.
The main idea: keep it simple and sequentially organized, do exhaustive research and outline the topic, add personal insights and insider knowledge where possible and offer valuable tips and tricks along the way.
These can serve as great lead gen focused posts or even a lead magnet to collect emails.
Fulfilling user needs in a how-to guide requires:
- Understanding your audience and tailoring your content to their interests and preferences
- Engaging with and analyzing user needs during the product design
- Utilizing qualitative research to delve into user motivations, activities and pain points
- Addressing customer pain points from their perspective
- Tailoring the content’s tone to answer common queries and provide relevant solutions
5. Interactive content
Content types have evolved and transformed into more dynamic and interactive entities that can engage your audience in more than one way now.
Interactive content is a perfect example of this, enabling website visitors to actively participate as opposed to merely passively consuming.
Examples of this content format include:
It’s not just about being fun and engaging though, it also offers numerous benefits for your content marketing strategy. It can:
- Heighten engagement
- Increase dwell time on site
- Promote active user involvement
- Improve lead generation
- Enhance brand loyalty
- Product sales
From quizzes and calculators to interactive maps and webinars, these new formats offer a world of possibilities for engaging your audience and boosting your SEO performance.
Designing engaging interactive content
The design entails a blend of creativity, strategic planning and an understanding of user behavior.
Here are some steps to follow:
- Decide on the message and approach for your content creation
- Choose appropriate media to assist in communicating your ideas, keeping your audience in mind
- Add interactive elements like buttons, questions and features to make your content more engaging
- Continuously test and optimize your content for the best performance
The idea isn’t to have folks playing on your website, the content they interact with should meet their needs and move towards a purchase, to spend more time on your site or some other concrete goal.
By understanding your audience and tailoring your content to their interests and preferences, you’ll be creating content that truly engages and excites your users.
6. Videos and visual content
Written content is one part of the SEO content types equation, video and visuals are the flip side of that coin.
If you’re not using video, you’re missing out, Wyzowl found that 91% of businesses used video as a content marketing tool in 2023.
Nowadays, visual content reigns supreme as a way to get more traffic.
Videos and visual elements such as infographics, charts and images can significantly enhance the appeal and effectiveness of your content.
Videos, in particular, are a highly effective medium for efficiently delivering a lot of information in a short amount of time.
The beauty of visual content lies in its versatility.
Whether you’re integrating videos into blog posts (a great idea!), creating infographics for social media or adding images to a blog article, visual content enhances the attractiveness, accessibility and memorability of your content.
Not to mention, it also improves user engagement and dwell time on your website, sending positive signals to Google and consequently enhancing page rankings.
Creating shareable visual content
The alchemy for great visuals first requires what all content does: a deep understanding of your audience. Add to that keen eye for aesthetics and a strategic approach to content creation.
A successful visual content strategy involves:
- Planning ahead
- Considering quality
- Repurposing old content
- Establishing a consistent visual brand
But what kinds of visual content are more likely to be shared on social media? Here are some great examples of shareable visual content:
- Short and long videos
- Well-thought-out and informative images to accompany blog posts
By carefully selecting and creating your visual content, you can increase its shareability, boost your online visibility and enhance your SEO performance (keep in mind, you can optimize for YouTube SEO too so this is a double whammy).
7. Local SEO content
Not exactly a separate type of content but a reminder that businesses with a specific geographic target need to create SEO content and content marketing plans that are tailored to that local audience.
Local content improves website visibility and positions businesses prominently in both search engine and map results for local queries.
Types of content that can drive traffic for local businesses include:
- Google Business Profile pages
- Local directories
- Location-specific landing pages
- Case studies on local customers
- Pages dedicated to services, states, regional/metro areas, cities and neighborhoods/suburbs
Optimizing content for local SEO
Local SEO strategy is focused on increasing local traffic, visibility and brand recognition, it involves:
- Optimizing content for local keywords
- Localizing web content
- Optimizing local web pages
- Adding a detailed contact page
- Incorporating local trends, references events and activities
- Engaging on social media with Instagram posts and the like
When it comes to keywords, local SEO involves conducting local keyword research to identify location and industry-specific keywords. It’s also important to analyze competitors’ keywords to uncover potential opportunities.
Furthermore, to optimize images for local SEO, you should:
- Align images with keyword intent
- Include relevant alt text and captions
- Format and size them properly for the web
- Use image compression and schema markup
Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or a small business owner, understanding these essential types of SEO content can help you craft a more effective SEO and content marketing strategy. The goal isn’t just to create content, but to create content that resonates with your target audience and delivers SEO value. So, let your creativity flow, keep your audience in mind and start creating quality content for SEO that drives organic traffic, engages your audience, generates more leads and boosts your online visibility.
When you’re ready to start your website content planning journey, use Slickplan to keep all your content creation organized.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is common content in SEO?
Some of the best types of content for SEO include well-optimized blog posts, informative articles, engaging videos, visually appealing infographics and user-friendly product pages. Diversifying content formats caters to varied audience preferences and enhances overall search engine visibility.
What are the 3 types of SEO?
The three types of SEO are on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO. On-page focuses on content optimization, off-page on external factors, and technical on site structure.
What are the benefits of long-form content?
Long-form content provides in-depth information, enhances authority and thought leadership as well as boosts SEO by attracting quality backlinks. It also engages readers, improves user experience and increases dwell time.
Should I use different types of SEO content?
Yes, using different types of SEO content is beneficial. Varied content, like blog posts, videos and infographics, caters to wide audience preferences and helps optimize for different search engine ranking factors, improving overall SEO performance.